This comes two days after the apex court sent a notice to the Andhra govt seeking its response on the contempt case filed by Odisha.

A voter being inked following the voting PTI: Image for representation purpose only.
news Dispute Sunday, February 14, 2021 - 16:01

Even as the Supreme Court is set to hear the dispute between the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh over an area considered as a disputed territory between the two, the state of Andhra Pradesh conducted panchayat polls in one of the villages of Koraput district of Odisha. Andhra Pradesh's Vizianagaram district authorities on Saturday held a Panchayat election in Patusinri village under Kotia gram panchayat in Koraput district. 

Days before Panchayat polls, Odisha government officials had written to their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, asking them to restrain from holding the election.

On Saturday, according to reports, local residents of the area participated in polling at Patunsiri, also known as Pattu Chennuru, despite authorities from Odisha urging them not to. Hindustan Times reported that the Sarpanches were elected for two other villages, Talaganjeipadar and Phagunseneri.

The territorial dispute between two neighbouring states has remained unresolved for over six decades, the state of Odisha arguing that over 21 villages fall under its jurisdiction.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court had asked the Andhra government to file its response by February 19 in the plea filed by Odisha seeking contempt against senior officials of the southern state, for notifying panchayat polls in three 'disputed area' villages of the petitioner state. 

The dispute over territorial jurisdiction over 21 villages popularly called as Kotia Group of villages first reached the top court in 1968 when Odisha on the basis of three notifications, issued on December 1, 1920, October 8, 1923, and October 15, 1927, claimed that Andhra Pradesh had trespassed into its well-defined territory.

The disputed area falls under the Koraput parliamentary and Potangi assembly segment. Earlier in 2020, tension had mounted as officials from Andhra Pradesh had removed signboards put up by officials from Odisha.

Odisha has said that Andhra Pradesh’s attempts to conduct elections in Kotia region by dividing into three villages is a "wilful attempt" to sabotage the dictum of the Supreme Court.


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